Yakitori Jinbei is located in a strip mall centered by an Office Depot, on your right as you head north along highway 41 away from the Perimeter. It’s not large, and a little tricky to find. It’s one of the more original restaurants in Atlanta. More precisely, it’s a kind of restaurant more common in other parts of the world. This kind of restaurant was pretty common on Guam, back when I was roaming the island – perhaps because the Japanese honeymooners of the day wouldn’t stand for being ripped off.

I came on a lunch, not knowing that yakitori wasn’t served at lunch. When I was told that, I was surprised. The lunch menu is full of inexpensive eats, but the overwhelming majority of them were starchy. I wanted to save my starches for nigiri. I finally found their fried dishes, and they had fried horse mackerel. That sounded good.

Inside, I counted 15 small 2 person tables, and 7 chairs in front of the sushi bar. There was a lot of natural wood, and good use of dark stained wood as well. The look was pretty, and casual as well. That informal nature extended through the eatery. Service was relaxed. I arrived about the height of lunch hour, and it was perhaps half full.

The horse mackerel came with a two colored panko. I kept wondering if the brighter orange color was due to sweet potato, but never got a clear answer on that. Nigiri were good. They ran out of octopus, so I asked that salmon be substituted instead.

It was good food, but I couldn’t help feeling disappointed. I have to get back for the yakitori sometime!

Verdict: Original, informal, with good, inexpensive Japanese food. Highly recommended.

Yakitori Jinbei
2421 Cobb Parkway
Smyrna, GA 30080
(770) 818-9215

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